rulesnewsphotosdownloadslinkscontact us
new user registration
forgot password?
player blogs
Create a Blog entry | View blog list

fupersly's blog
1st one
9/7/2007 4:28:45 PM
It's funny - I'm not even sure who I think is going to read this, but I figure I'll go ahead and put it out here anyway since I figure I have to "blog" something at least once in my life. Rather than go into all the Air Hockey stuff I've been thinking about recently, I figured I'd use this as an opportunity to introduce myself and give a little bit of background about how and why I got involved in Air Hockey.

I'll skip most of the boring stuff, but I think it's worth noting that I don't have much of an athletic background - it's not that I don't have some level of athletic talent (which I think you do need to perform at the highest level of Air Hockey), but I was never really into athletics outside of the activities we did in gym class. I could hardly run a mile to save my life until my freshman year in Jr. High, but there were other things I managed to do well pretty naturally, and I could always swing a pretty mean bat (even though it was only slow-pitch softball). Suffice it to say, I never really thought I'd be competitive in any type of sport, although I certainly had that dream at one point in my life. Of course, I am a product of the early 70s and video games were the "it" thing for me, so it's easy to see how I never made that leap.

Fast-forward to my "professional" life, where I was finally able to take advantage of my love of video games by landing a job at Sega. Testing games was fun, and I think playing all those games helped keep my mind and reflexes sharp - even though I was putting on weight at an impressive rate. (I had never weighed more than 175 lbs. in school, but I was closing in 200 lbs. before I turned 21) Of course, I was always super competitive when it came to games, especially because I knew I had the skill to play well. I played a lot of Street Fighter in those days, and although I was definitely above average, I certainly couldn't approach the skill of the best players. I would go on to play it probably more than any other game I had played up until that time, but I was never really able to make it to an "elite" level. I still enjoyed playing and even entered some local major tournaments, but I eventually gave up on the idea of being a Street Fighter champion.

Around that same time, I began to re-discover Air Hockey. Although my best friend, Dave Gray, was hooked into Air Hockey, I was a pretty casual participant. We had both gotten into competitive Air Hocket at the same time, through some tournaments that we being held in a local arcade in our hometown of Antioch, CA. Dave ended up beating me in the finals of the first big tournament they held, and I admit that losing that match turned me off to the idea of trying to be better than he was - I figured I'd just dedicate myself to Street Fighter and let Dave rule Air Hockey. (of course, neither of us had any idea just how far away from the top we were in our respective pursuits) Anyway, it finally dawned on me that I really enjoyed playing and I decided I wanted to make another push to play it seriously.

This leads us to the 1998 Santa Cruz Nationals. I had only played in 2 other major Air Hockey events at this point (1992 Nationals in San Jose and 1994 Nationals in Santa Clara), and although I had only been practicing for a short while, I felt like I might have a pretty good tournament. Of course, my good feelings were short-lived as I ran into a number of players who basically put me on my ass. However, I was fortunate enough to play Phil Arnold in an early match and managed to take 1 game off of him - and push him to 6-6 in another - before he put me away. And not to overstate it, but that match was really the turning point for me. I really wasn't sure what to expect, but when I realized how Phil was able to use pure skill to shut me down, I knew I had found what I was looking for. Unfortunately, although I would continue to play in local weekly tournaments and even buy my own table, it would be several more years before I became truly dedicated to the sport.

I'll stop here for now - keep your eyes peeled for the next chapter in this exciting true story! (I bet you can't wait) :p

Blog History
Going Nowhere Fast 26 Mar 2015
Keeping Myself Honest 12 Aug 2014
Hatching My 2-Year Plan 08 Aug 2014
Only two entries? Weak... 23 Apr 2013
2nd one 27 Jan 2008
1st one 07 Sep 2007